There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy. There’s only you and me and we just disagree

Our Story so far: Rachel Nabors recently wrote an essay about why she won’t speak at a conference that doesn’t have a code of conduct. She used Jared Spool’s prestigious UIE as an example, and linked to his public essay on why he won’t have a code of conduct.

I popped onto Facebook yesterday, and saw Jared Spool complaining about the internet justice treatment he’s been receiving, because of his public position against having Codes of Conduct. He’s getting comments like “someone should beat sense into him with a 2x4” and others suggesting that not having a Code of Conduct means he’s a rapist.

I did *not* say, welcome to my life (tempted…) because no one deserves this.

I know. I got some startling comments after writing my article on Codes of Conduct.

No one deserves to be treated like less than human because of an opinion.

I disagree with him as strongly as I disagree with a friend who is anti-gun control. But I know their positions are not who they are. Maybe one of us is right, and maybe one of us is wrong. We may never know which is which. (though I hope Jared listens to the rational voices that call for Codes of Conduct, and decides to side with the requests of women who have studied the issue over his own theories.)

I know we are both good people, and we don’t deserve threats. WTF America, that we can’t discuss ideas without casting one side or another into the role of Satan. Maybe it’s what is so wrong with our politics.

The habit of judging people rather than ideas is exemplified by this twitter post. Apparently good people can’t be wrong, and can’t be questioned in their opinions.

Mike changes the conversation from ideas to good vs evil.

And this is what it looks like when we argue about positions, not personalities.

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From Metafilter discussion. Of course, he benefits by not being squished by 140 characters.

Time to clean up our act, and argue openly, clearly and rationally but not personally.

Argue with logic. Not with threats, not with bullying, not with name calling. And if we can’t agree, both of us have the right to stand by our values. I can choose not attend his conference until it has a CoC, and he can choose not invite me because he is against my position.

Anyone who thinks this kind of hostile treatment is effective debate is a fool. If you think insulting Jared will do anything but make him feel even more righteous, you’re a deluded. Bullying as a change tactic is illogical, it’s ineffective and worse, it’s cruel.

I’m angry at Jared’s position on Codes of Conduct.

But I’m angrier at anyone who suggests he is less than human because he holds it.

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